Unification News for November 1996


Close to True Mother in New Jersey

by Christine Libon-Clifton, NJ

I volunteered to help prepare for True Mother's coming to speak in New Jersey at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ Oct. 18 at 7:30pm. I was asked by Miho Panzer to be at the hotel 9am the day before. I waited for about an hour and a half in the lobby, but this was an opportune time. A young man played a short piece on the piano and sat down beside me. I asked, "Is that the end of the concert?" From this point it was as easy as pie to tell him why I was here and to invite him to the speech. Giuseppe is a law student who came with a group of Sicilians working with Lady La Roca to organize a world bank for Sicilian emigrants. While we were talking, Mr. Chirimini, also with Lady La Roca, came over to join our conversation. Mr. Chirimini is president of a bank in South Africa. He shared his ideas about Biblical truth with me. He actually has a very good principled understanding of many points. Giuseppe said he would come to the speech. I was so happy to hear later that he came the following night!

I could not attend the speech because we-Mrs. Panzer, Yukiko, Masayo and myself-needed to clean up after Mother's dinner. We had a lot of help from Korean members. Perhaps many readers have not been behind the scenes serving True Mother at such an event. Therefore, I will describe many details. The day prior to the event was filled with duties such as unpacking china, silverware and such to be used for Mother and her guests at the main table. Everything was washed, dried, organized. Bed sheets were prepared, newly purchased towels and bath mats. Only highest quality things were used, new things, fresh fruits and ripe. We pooled together all the furniture from among the rented rooms and selected the best and most appropriate pieces for the bedroom and living room-a desk for study, a chair next to which a foot massager could be placed, a blanketed space where Mother could receive a massage, extra lighting, tables for floral arrangements. Unnecessary items were removed. Mrs. Panzer had purchased small baskets of dried fruits and nuts and some candies which were beautifully gift wrapped and placed in Mother's room. A CD-cassette player as well. Everything to make Mother as comfortable as possible, all the comforts of home. Sisters were often going out on last-minute shopping trips to buy extra hosiery, foods, juices, a curtain and expandable rod to create more privacy near Mother's room, fresh red beets to make juice for Mother. Arrangements were made for sisters in the area to bake vegetable muffins for breakfast, to bring Japanese good for lunch, to hand-wash and iron Mother's bathrobe. We vacuumed the carpet in Mother's room three times before her arrival and cleaned the rooms for her and True Children ourselves, not using hotel staff. I vacuumed so much I thought my arm would fall off. I was also a communicator because I could speak English. I was on the phone to room service, housekeeping, the front desk. At one point I was given a two-way "walkie-talkie" radio to communicate to the stage area. Good, quick communication was essential.

A few additional rooms were prepared for the Moon clan, three representing Father's side and three from Mother's. Let me say here that Esmerelda, from the hotel's maid-service staff, was superb-and so warm-hearted! She's from Peru. "You don't need to tip me," she said. However, Mrs. Panzer gave us tipping money to given each time a special request was fulfilled, and the requests were many. The attitude of the hotel staff in general was quite good, no reasons needed, whatever request you bring. I never questioned when I was told to do something, but I had some questions before we began. "What shall I bring to the hotel (pants, dress, suit)?" Answer from Mrs. Panzer: "A pure mind." Rev. Thomas Baldwin commented: "Cleanliness is very important, both internally and externally." The well-known adage, "Do it!", was helpful, to which might be added, "Do it well and do it fast!" At our evening prayer meeting, Mrs. Panzer shared her thoughts on how to bring a victory based on unity: "All our efforts are united- fund raising, witnessing, details at the hotel. We pray for them; they pray for us. This kind of unity we need always." If we made some mistakes, if things were not exactly right, Mrs. Panzer and Mrs. Baldwin would comment, "It's okay. Mother will feel our heart of serving. If we are united, this is best. Mother can feel if we are united; she is very sensitive. Things are second. Mother knows we are all running."

A new feeling toward leaders and people closest to True Parents came to me. They were no longer feared; I felt so much love from the little love punch I received from Mrs. Kil Hwan Kim of Philadelphia expressing her happiness at my being there, from the warm, gentle smile of Peter Kim, the quiet seriousness of Rev. Joong Hyun Pak, Mrs. Pak so humble and so kind. Everyone there truly felt like sisters. When Mrs. Pak wanted a comfortable pair of shoes to go shopping in, I enthusiastically begged, "Please wear mine!" She smiled; it was a joy to share like sisters. Rev. Kil Hwan Kim was understandably nervous; every mistake would reflect back on him. I must admit, the welcoming bouquet was late (I'm sorry-I ran as fast as I could!); but as a result I had to enter Mother's suite and give them to her as she sat in a chair beside the sofa. I waited for Mother to look up as a cue to hand her the bouquet. But she never did. Many meanings might be inferred from her action. Perhaps this is what should be understood: when we look at something, we are thinking, "Oh, this is for me?" In other words, we are expecting to receive something. But Mother never looked up. Even being such a very special person, she never expects to receive something. So what kind of souvenirs do we get from being so close to True Parents? What things can I hand down to my descendants? Well, souvenirs are certainly precious; however, the most precious thing True Parents have already given us: Heavenly tradition. I am so grateful to know personally the living saints of the Completed Testament Age; many sacrifice to the point of death to fulfill their responsibility. Let me also take this opportunity to say that I am proud of those who defend completely the eternal family unit. I'm also proud of Rev. Wells and the work he is doing with his organization, "One Day at a Time."

After the speech, I went down to join the choir of 30 members from several locations to entertain at the victory celebration. It was a whoopdedoo party! And though we sang only one selection, "Deep River," we were great! You know you're doing great when the choir director says "Wow!" and each wow gets bigger. Yes, there was an incredible spirit there. We shook the walls spiritually. The overflow room was filled. It was a celebration of Heavenly culture. The East Garden sisters brought Korean folk instruments and sang native Korean folksongs. These types of songs always inspire me, even to the point of tears. Perhaps it is because whenever you want to share in a culture, you must go back to its original roots. Won Ju Onni sang a heartfelt solo. Irene Sasao sang "Danny Boy" and I saw Grandma at the event. There were other songs. And Hyun Jin Hyung Nim delivered his rousing rendition of "Blue Suede Shoes." As I knelt tall trying to see, face and unite with Mother, I felt she was looking at me as if to say, "Come on. Join me. Let's do it together!" Looking at all the great people in this one room, I said to myself, "Surely, with all these great people we must be able to do something great. We must be able to have an impact on this world." After this tremendous celebration, Father asked us the familiar question, "So now, you can do very well in your mission?"

As we packed everything back into boxes late Saturday morning, I thanked Mrs. Panzer: "Because of you, I could have the blessing of serving." Her reply: "Well, then this is really the meaning of blessing: to give to someone else." My eternal gratitude to Mrs. Panzer! As I washed the many dishes, I kept asking myself, "Why am I so privileged?" But, actually, I don't care why. I'm just glad I could be so close to True Mother.

Rev. Kim is so inspired by the fact that the Muslim imam presented a plaque to True Mother in Philadelphia, and by the Mormon elders-the missionary sisters-who also made their special offering to Mother. This is truly a new age. He has been encouraging us to have a spirit of "hahm-kkeh" or Together-Spirit. I would like to reiterate some points from his sermon on Sunday, Oct. 20: "Mother reported to me that Father has been so happy ever since Thursday night. Whenever Father is happy, he sings one song, `Mongooboh Tahreeuh'."

Rev. Kim presented the question, "What's the motivation for my serious effort to bring victory?" He answered by reading Father's words: "The first fundamental principle you must understand is-Why do we live? How can we be fulfilled? Love and ideal are not self-generated, not fulfilled, if we are alone. Only others can stimulate, complement, reciprocate, and fulfill the ideal. The blueprint is: living for others-spouse for spouse, parents for children, individuals for family, and on up-for the nation, for the world, for God. God lives totally for you and me. This one grand circle of giving can be maintained for eternity-eternal happiness. The love you give returns both premium and interest. Those who serve the most become the center. He who invests the most in others automatically moves into the highest central position. No one likes the word `dominion" but we want to be with those who love us always, every minute, never separated. We want to get involved with God."

Rev. Kim said, "I like to be ordered to do something. I feel God's love this way. This internal happiness goes with me everywhere."

Back to my experience-I was asked to do many things I had never done before: "Christine can arrange the fruit. Let Christine help with this." I felt so chosen and so privileged, so loved, so depended upon. As in Korean class when you get one word right-the teacher is so proud of you! It seems that children understand this principle. They love to help. Well, I saw many guests at the speech. Kathy Sato said there were 30 from WFWP and a couple of VIPs who were very moved by the diversity of our members and by points in the speeches. And though some services must be paid for dearly, Manhattan Center offered their services free of charge for this event. Our members had to be inspired. Was it a success?


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